Post-race comments

By Jean-François Quénet in Salzburg

Alejandro Valverde (Spain, 3rd)

"I am very happy with my medal. This is something important. After I already won silver [last year], now I go home with the bronze. I am just missing the golden one! Considering the fact that in four participations in the world championships, I won three medals, the world title has to be mine some day. I have to complete my collection! The 2006 season has been a very hard and intense one, and of course, I am beginning to be tired.

"The Spanish team did exceptional work the whole day. As for me, things were rather complicated from the moment I understood that the race would finish with a massive sprint. I owe my medal to the fantastic work done by Samuel Sanchez in the last kilometre. 700 metres from the finish line, he told me to stay on his wheel and that he would launch the sprint for me. Unfortunately, I could not take sufficient advantage of his work to win because Bettini and Zabel were faster, but I am very satisfied with my result."

Thor Hushovd (Norway, 112th)

"It's been an horrible day for me, the complete opposite of what I was aiming at. I just had bad legs all the way and I got dropped in the first hill of the last lap. Now I'll take it easy and focus on Paris-Tours."

Thomas Voeckler (France, 92nd)

"I was the last rider to enter the breakaway. Fortunately I made it, otherwise the French team would have been obliged to chase at the front of the bunch. I'm happy with the work I've done today. I don't have much to reproach myself.

"It was my first world championship but I didn't come for the folklore. I wanted to be an actor and produce some result for the team. At the end of the day, we don't have much to celebrate but it's nothing new that Bettini, Zabel and Valverde are superior to any of the members of the French team."

Sylvain Calzati (France, 93rd)

"Yes, I was the last Frenchman to try something but I'm disappointed because I got cramps during the final lap and I would have liked to do more."

Tarmo Raudsepp (Estonia, DNF)

"It's been a fabulous experience to ride the world championship with the professionals. There was only one lap too much. As an amateur, I don't have the opportunity to take part in such long races, but I hope to become a pro soon."

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